27 September, 2020

The Mountain Parted

Dasrath Manjhi, the 'mountain man', dies. His one act inspires all.

Swapan Nayak
The Mountain Parted
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Every morning, for 22 long years, a frail, diminutive man, barefoot and clad in a loin cloth, would trudge two kilometres to a hillock of solid rock and chip away at it with a hammer and chisel. Bemused onlookers thought he had lost his mind, and he was an object of great fun for village urchins. But the women of the village, young and old, admired him, for his was a labour of love.

Dasrath Manjhi was building a memorial to his wife Phaguni Devi—one that won't ever find a place in hallowed global must-visit lists, but can well be passed down from this generation to the next as a monument of love. A poor man's Taj, literally. Not for its aesthetics, but for the way it symbolises the human spirit's capacity to endure, its indomitability. Dasrath had undertaken a Herculean task, perhaps unequalled in recent human history. The direct beneficiaries may be few—the residents of Gelaur, a remote hamlet in Bihar's Gaya district—but the act itself is a gift to us all: a fable for our times.

Today, a week after his death, Dasrath Manjhi is...
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